April 12, 2006 10:50 PM

Local Elections 2006

1. Residents Come First!

The Council is failing to put residents first. Liberal Democrats are committed to a fundamental Council change of attitude and approach. We will put the customer first!

We will achieve this by seeking to introduce new and better 'One Stop Shops' in each of the Townships. These walk in centres will be able to handle residents' queries and problems, and will be set up entirely so that residents can easily access Council services.

The new Council Call Centre will work in partnership with the new One Stop Shops.

We are committed to a People's Champion. The People's Champion will make sure that the resident gets the best out of Council Services. This new department will champion resident's complaints against the Council, and make sure that these complaints are fully answered and corrected. We wish for a Council culture that admits to wrongs immediately. No excuses, no spin.

2. Home Rule for Heywood, Middleton, Pennines and Rochdale!

Liberal Democrats will devolve More Power to Townships. We want Local People making Local Decisions. The Township structure is already in place. However, there is still considerable and unnecessary centralisation of power. Townships will receive greater powers, and greater control of budgets.

There will be a new Cabinet Member for Townships to make this happen.

3. Meeting the Aspirations of Older People

Liberal Democrats want to inform, support and encourage older people to take full advantage of the many services available to them in the Borough, and to improve and change those services for the better.

There will be a new Cabinet Member for Older People to make this happen.

The responsibilities of this new position include a review of existing facilities and benefits with emphasis on One Stop Shops, and accessibility, location and availability of services.

4. Controlling the Council's Budget and Council Tax

Liberal Democrats are committed to delivering high quality front line services. We want to cut down on bureaucracy, and focus Council effort more directly on to the services. We are completely committed to consultation - under a Liberal Democrat Council we will be a talking and listening Council. Nobody will find out about cuts after they have happened.

We aspire to keeping Council Tax rises as low as possible.

5. Community Policing

Liberal Democrats support the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester in his bid for £14 million extra funding for an extra 200 Police Officers across the area.

We strongly support further development of community policing in Middleton, Heywood, Pennines and Rochdale.

We want to see the return of the Local Number for routine Police calls from the Borough.

We support the local Magistrates Association in their campaign to allow more local freedom on sentencing.

6. A Green Vision for the Borough!

The pressure on resources and the threat of climate change are the big global challenges facing us all. Liberal Democrats will encourage and support people locally to bring about a culture change and turn towards more sustainable life style choices.

We are committed to substantially increase the Borough's waste minimisation and recycling performance. We will improve the Borough's urban environment and enhance our rural environment. We will look for real solutions to alternative travel. We will support energy efficient housing development by changing Planning Regulations at local level.

Liberal Democrats will expect the Council to lead by example. We will form a 'Green Team' bringing together under one roof Officers who already work on environmental and sustainability issues in separate departments. The 'Green Team' will formulate and help to implement a clear coherent strategy for a 'Green Borough'.

7. A Vital Role for the Voluntary Sector

The Borough is blessed with a large number of voluntary sector organisations providing vital services to residents. Liberal Democrats want a Council that listens to and works closely with the voluntary sector, and takes seriously what it hears.